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Carton & Roberts Score Their First Afternoon Drive Ratings Win on WFAN

“‘Carton & Roberts’ finished 3rd overall with Men 25-54 with a 5.3 share, holding off ‘The Michael Kay Show’, which finished 4th with a 4.8.”

Jason Barrett

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Mark Chernoff’s final run as program director of WFAN may be coming to an end in the near future, but the longtime PD of New York’s dominant sports radio station is making sure that when he passes the baton, he’s turning over a well oiled machine with strong ratings success to whoever follows him.

The Winter Book results were released today in the big apple, and the headline that will generate the most attention throughout the industry was Craig Carton and Evan Roberts unseating The Michael Kay Show for the top spot in afternoon drive according to the Nielsen Audio ratings. ‘Carton & Roberts’ finished 3rd overall with Men 25-54 with a 5.3 share, holding off Kay’s program, which finished 4th with a 4.8. Those numbers take into account both the over the air, and streaming numbers (combined audience) for both brands. The winter book reflects the ratings generated by both stations between January 7th and March 31st.

The win was an important one for the WFAN afternoon duo. It was their first full book together and it reversed a trend that saw Kay enjoy previous success against Roberts and his former partner Joe Benigno. Carton and Roberts did team up for part of the Fall 2020 book, but because they started their show on November 9th, they weren’t responsible for most of the quarter’s performance.

One additional point worth sharing, Kay’s program, which previously started at 3pm ET, has since moved up an hour to 2pm ET. That means during the spring book, we’ll see the two shows battling for audience during similar time periods. The reason that’s important, 98.7 ESPN NY got crushed during the 2pm hour in this book. Carton & Roberts smoked Max Kellerman’s national show 9.0 to 2.1, leaving Kay with ground to make up. Regardless, Carton & Roberts did what they had to do, they put WFAN back in the win column in PM drive.

In middays, WFAN had to be satisfied with the performance turned in by Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray. The midday team placed 2nd overall with a 5.9 share from 10a-2p ET. During that same period, 98.7 ESPN NY received a 2.4, 16th place finish from Mike Greenberg, and a 2.9, 12th place showing from Bart Scott & Alan Hahn.

Closing things out in mornings, the WFAN powerhouse team of ‘Boomer & Gio’ led the market once again, finishing 1st overall with a 7.6. Their performance was the best of WFAN’s weekday programs for the quarter. The mixture of ESPN Radio’s ‘Keyshawn, J-Will & Zubin’, and 98.7 ESPN NY’s trio of Rick DiPietro, Chris Canty, and Dave Rothenberg came in 17th between 6a-10a with a 2.6 share.

For WFAN, this has to feel good, because it’s what the station expected when it brought Carton back. Craig’s ability to create interest, entertainment, and conversation is unquestioned. The buzz around WFAN’s afternoon show has been very different because there’s a daily question of what Carton might do next. Craig’s skill combined with Evan’s insight and ability to adjust to the #2 chair, and show another side of himself that hadn’t been heard as much previously, has allowed the show to perform well, and the station to generate new momentum. With the lineup strong and in a consistent place, New York’s sports radio king is positioned to enjoy future wins.

On the other hand, 98.7 ESPN NY is paying a price for shaking up its lineup. The Michael Kay Show is still a force and has nothing to feel bad about or apologize for. Moving up an hour earlier should help them in trying to reverse the latest results, and given the show’s dynamic, they’re good enough to bounce right back next book. The bigger question is the rest of the lineup. Kay’s show is drastically outperforming everything else on 98.7’s airwaves. It does take time for new shows to connect with an audience, but national programs have always faced an uphill climb in New York City. Making matters worse, Carton & Roberts started in November and six months later they’re riding high. If ESPN New York can get their national shows to finish in the Top 10, they’d probably feel good about it because there’s money to be made if you’re ranking that high in market #1. If they continue to hover around 16th-20th though, that might create more discussions inside their Bristol and NYC offices.

Sports Radio News

Larry Bowa Warns Angelo Cataldi Fans Will Boo First Pitch If It’s Not a Strike

“Angelo Cataldi made Bowa promise to frame the ball so that whatever he throws looks like a strike to the crowd.”

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The Philadelphia Phillies are set to honor the career of Angelo Cataldi on July 24. The WIP morning legend will throw out the first pitch at Citizens Bank Park that afternoon. Former Phillies manager Larry Bowa will be behind the plate.

Bowa joined Cataldi on air Thursday morning to offer some advice. He told Cataldi that if the team asked him today, Bowa could still throw a strike from the mound. He was going to help Cataldi try to do the same.

He was concerned that Cataldi may not have any friends to practice with. After Cataldi assured the former manager that he had someone that was at least willing to pretend, Bowa gave him some tips.

“First of all, you start out at about 30, 35 feet while you preparing for this,” Larry Bowa said. “Make sure you throw every ball chest high. Throw a four-seam fastball. Do that three or four days then backup to 50, 55 feet. Do that a couple of days, and then finally you get on the mound.”

There was a word of warning for Angelo Cataldi. Larry Bowa said he once served as the catcher for a ceremonial first pitch from Mike Schmidt, widely regarded as one of the very best to ever put on a Phillies uniform.

Schmidt chose to throw from the mound and bounced it. Bowa doesn’t want Cataldi to make the same mistake.

“If you go to the mound and you don’t throw a strike, if you bounce it, I’m gonna tell you, you know this area better than anybody in the world. You will get booed off that mound,” he said. “So, if I were you, I would get right at the edge of the dirt there and throw a nice strike and everybody will give you a nice standing ovation and everything like that.”

Angelo Cataldi made Bowa promise to frame the ball so that whatever he throws looks like a strike to the crowd.

“I need you to get it to me on a fly, Ang,” Bowa responded.

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Sports Radio News

Dave Tepper Leaves Altitude Sports Radio To Become PD of News Radio KOA

“ The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. She was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018.”

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There’s a big change taking place in Denver radio. Dave Tepper has left Altitude Sports Radio to become the new program director for Newsradio KOA. The position became available after iHeart Denver recently parted ways with programmers Greg Foster and Tim Spence.

The move represents a reunion for Tepper and GM Brenda Egger. Egger was the GM at Altitude that brought Tepper to the market in 2018. She left to take the reigns at iHeart in December 2020. Tepper will be responsible for all aspects of the on-air experience, including talent, content, programming, and online presence, as well as Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies broadcasts. He will report to JoJo Turnbeaugh, Region Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Rockies Region.

“We are very excited Dave will be leading our incredible team at KOA,” said Turnbeaugh. “Dave’s track record, vision and leadership is exactly what we need as KOA continues to evolve as Colorado’s, News, Talk and Sports leader.”

Altitude Sports Radio went through a lineup revamp early on under Tepper before settling in the past few years. The station built its morning show around Vic Lombardi, Marc Moser, and Brett Kane, afternoons around Nate Kreckman and Andy Lindahl, and middays around Ryan Harris, Scott Hastings, and Josh Dover. The station also moved from 950 AM to 92.5 FM, and added an affiliation with VSiN.

At KOA, Tepper will work with both sports and news talk programming. He’s familiar with both formats having previously managed 1620 The Zone and News Talk 1290 KOIL in Omaha. Tepper also previously programmed ESPN 97.5 in Houston, and served as the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network Studio Coordinator and National Network Producer for Westwood One’s broadcasts of the College World Series. He has also worked on-air as a sports talk host in Houston and Austin, TX after starting behind the scenes at KLSX and KABC in Los Angeles.

“I’m thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to take the legendary KOA brands to new heights, including the game-changing chance to work with the Broncos, Rockies and Colorado Buffaloes radio networks,” said Tepper. “My proud journey that includes working with a variety of sports and talk formats, talents and sports radio networks has prepared me for this unique and once in a lifetime step.”

Altitude Sports Radio hasn’t announced a timeframe for when it expects to hire a new leader.

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Sports Radio News

Travis Demers Steps Away From Rip City Radio 620

Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.

Jordan Bondurant

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Travis Demers

Portland Trail Blazers play-by-play announcer Travis Demers is going to be taking some time to enjoy being around his family.

Demers announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he will be leaving his post as co-host of Rip City Drive with Chad Doing to become a stay-at-home dad.

Demers clarified that he will still be calling Blazers games and be involved with the team’s radio production, but he’s going to take this opportunity to be more involved in the lives of his kids.

For now, Doing will fly solo hosting Rip City Drive. iHeartRadio Portland has not announced whether a replacement will be hired.

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